Sunday 16 December 2018

Adams tells O'Connor to 'report sex abuse to gardai'

Sinead O'Connor at Vicar Street last night. Photo: El Keegan
Sinead O'Connor at Vicar Street last night. Photo: El Keegan
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

GERRY Adams has advised singer Sinead O'Connor to contact gardai after she claimed she was molested by a now-deceased Sinn Fein member.

The award-winning singer made the claim in a letter to IRA abuse victim Mairia Cahill, which was published in the 'Sunday Independent' last weekend.

Ms O'Connor's letter was in response to criticism from Ms Cahill after she announced her intention to join Sinn Fein.

Ms Cahill said she felt like she had been "kicked" when the singer joined Mr Adams' party.

In response, Ms O'Connor said: "I myself was repeatedly sexually molested as a child in the 1970s by a member of Sinn Fein. And I am certain I was not the only victim of that man, who is now dead," she added.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Mr Adams said: "She needs to go to An Garda Siochana if she hasn't already done so. That's all we can beseech anyone to do that makes such allegation." Mr Adams said Ms O'Connor's application to join his party is still a "work in progress". Last weekend, Ms Cahill and Ms O'Connor spoke on the phone about the vocalist's plans to join Sinn Fein.

Depressed

Ms Cahill said she was initially "depressed" by the pop star's decision because she was a vocal advocate of sex abuse victims. However, after their conversation, the Belfast woman said she believed Ms O'Connor's "heart was in the right place". "It's been a tough few months and I imagined someone like Sinead would stand up for those victims of abuse that Sinn Fein, in my opinion, treated shamefully," she said.

"I know now after speaking to her that she intends to do that, though I am still mystified at how she is going to reconcile the issue in her head as she strives to make a difference from within."

Ms O'Connor said she joined Sinn Fein to reframe "what it means to be republican" and change the party's leadership.

Irish Independent

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